Friday, March 4, 2011

Family Rules

Last week on an airplane, I was looking across the aisle at  Mikias's  handsome profile.  He was watching a movie with Kurt and didn't notice me admiring him.  Something looked different about him.  It took me a minute but I figured out what it was. His normally long curled eyelashes were little stubs.

"What happened to your eyelashes?"

"Huh? I have no idea what you are talking about?"

"Did you cut them?

"Oh yeah, I did that at school when I was bored."

"That is NOT okay, you cannot cut your eyelashes!"


"Your eyelashes protect your eyes from getting stuff in them." (Not only that, they are the perfect frame for his beautiful eyes.)

"Okay, do you want to make that a family rule, no eyelash cutting?"

"Sure, if you think that would help."
A few days ago, Jemberu came into the kitchen demanding my full attention.

"Watch me be a cowboy."  In his red pajamas with the polar bears he didn't look much like a cowboy.

He hooked his thumbs into the waistband of his pajamas.  He walked over to me bow-legged and tied up his imaginary horse.

He turned to an imaginary foe and drawled, "I don't like you and you don't like me.  We both know that this here town isn't big enough for the both of us."

He dramatically turned his head away and spit.  On my floor.  Not pretend spit.  Real spit.

I gasped in horror.

He turned back to me, tipped his imaginary ten gallon hat and said, "Sorry you had to see that, Ma'am."

"Jem, great cowboy impression, but you CANNOT spit in the house!"

"What about after I brush my teeth?"

"Yes in the sink. No on the floor."

"Want to make that a family rule, no spitting on the floor?"

"Yes, good plan."
The boys like rules.  They like to have a plan.  They need to know what to expect and what we expect from them.   However, I could not possibly lay down enough rules to cover every strange, misguided or bizarre thing they could ever think to do.  I should have already known this from when Devyn and Maddy were little.

When the girls were little we had a cat.  We kept the cat box in the playroom downstairs.  For a period of time, when I cleaned the box, I noticed the clumps were unusually large.  A bizarre thought crossed my mind.

I yelled upstairs, "Maddy (really I knew, Devyn wouldn't think of doing this) have you been PEEING in the cat box?

"Only sometimes, when I am too busy to come upstairs." she replied casually

"Are you KIDDING me, Maddy?  You CAN'T do that!"

"Okay.  Now I know."

I would like to continue this blog post but I really should go.  I have rules to make.


  1. OMG! Too funny! My step son used to pee in empty coke bottles and hide them under his bed, because he was too lazy (or as he put it, "too busy") to use the bathroom... the one two feet away from his bedroom door. I had to make a house rule...and enforce it...often.

  2. That is the FUNNIEST STORY EVER!!! All three of them!!! But, hands down, Maddy's is the best!

  3. So true! Family rules.

    ps-when in third grade we read a book about loosing an eyelash and making a wish on it. I showed up at gymnastics class with no eyelashes, having pulled them all out the entire day. can you hear my mother freaking out now, 30 years later?

  4. Shannon, I hope your wishes came true! That is FUNNY!

  5. OMG! It must be a family thing! Avery just cut her eyelashes about 2 months ago. I was so upset, she has gorgeous long eyelashes. I bet we didn't have a cover on the litter box she would pee in that too!

  6. She may have Devyn's birthday but Avery IS Maddy!

  7. Hi Alison! I have really enjoyed reading your blog. It's been such an encouragement as we wait to bring our girls home from Haiti. I started a blog after reading yours and it's been helpful. Thank you!

  8. Hi Sarah! I just checked out your blog, it's wonderful. I wish I had started blogging earlier, especially when we were going through the adoption process. You have a beautiful family. I am sure you can't wait to have your daughters home with you!
    Best wishes to you and your family!

  9. Alison, you have some sweet and funny children. I laughed out loud with this one.

  10. Hi Alison,

    I saw your blog in the Adoptive Family Magazine and thought I'd check it out. Absolutely hilarious!

    I'm an adoptive mom of 2 African American children adopted domestically. On your previous post about being noticed, Yep, we frequently get a second look and/or comments. Generally they are positive, but it can get tiresome. I am also asked frequently "Are they related" (Yep, that's what happens when you adopt someone). Mostly, I just try to be nice and move on. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Found your blog by hopping around. This made me laugh outloud when I should be doing dishes. Thanks for the distraction!

  12. One of our rules is, "we take care of our things." It's general enough to cover things like no drawing on walls, no banging plastic hammers on doors, and no scratching the table with forks!

  13. "Sorry you had to see that, Ma'am." hahaha

    -Jocie :)

  14. Your family is beautiful! So fun to find you through the "favorite blog list." We have three bio kids-19-12, adopted a little girl from ET in 2009, now 4, and are in the process of adopting again. So we have from college to preschool and are going to go back to the toddler phase. I have to say it does give perspective on so may things....from preschool and playdates, to college decisions. I look forward to reading more. PS. We live on the south shore.

  15. I've been catching up on your blog, and wanted to add a note. I'm a mom of Beth, 27, five foster kids all in their mid 20's, and Livy, 9. She's my stepdaughter - but I don't usually add the 'step' in there. We co-parent with her mom and stepfather, and it has been very eye-opening to see what it's like, going through it again. I feel more confident some days - and so much less others! :laughs:

    The other day, we had learned of some mis-behavior from her Mom and when she was sitting on the couch with me, I said "So, you had a rough week, huh?" And she said "nooo?" I proceeded to list the couple of major transgressions and got the "That was an accident.." or "I was mad we were gonna be late" excuses. I told her that it was okay to be angry, but not okay to act stupid when you were. I showed her how to take a breath and count to ten....the conversation was short and light. After a few minutes, I leaned over and murmured "Stinks when your parents talk to each other, doesn't it?" and she sighed hugely and mumbled " really does!"
    I had to go into the kitchen to laugh so she wouldn't hear me! She's my daughter as much as the one I gave birth to - and no one can tell me different.


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